The Conference “On Perspectives and Conditions of Development of Entrepreneurship in Belarus till 2010” took place on September, 28 in Minsk in International Education Centre IBB.
The Conference hosted representatives of 20 business associations and public entrepreneurial associations of the republic and also diplomats, economist, lawyers, deputies of the Belarusian Parliament, representatives of the local authority, entrepreneurs, leaders of entrepreneurship movement, heads and founders of enterprises, journalists. The Conference participants took a decision to create the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs. It will be registered till the end of the current year.
Mr. Vladimir Karyagin, the President of MCAEE: «The author of the «National Business Agenda of Belarus» is not a single person or a group of people. The author of the «Agenda» is the Belarusian entrepreneurship community. The cover of the brochure does not have emblems of any specific business association or entrepreneurship associations – because during the work on the document sectoral and professional business associations, thousands of entrepreneurs, founders, heads of enterprises joined the initiators of the «Agenda» creation – PA «Minsk Capital Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers» and Brest, Vitebsk, Gomel, Grodno, Mogilyov regional business associations. They also developed the methods of promotion and implementation of the «Agenda». Their offer and ideas first came to the Editorial Committee and after creation of the «Agenda» project – to the Coordination Council for Development and Promotion of the «Agenda». The aim of the «Agenda» is to establish an active dialogue between business, authority and society aimed at optimization of the business climate of the country, stabilization of the economy in general».
Mr. Karyagin, MCAEE President: «The «Agenda» has been created. The aim of this Conference are to create the methods of its promotion and implementation. The present variant of the «Agenda» comes to all ministries and agencies, organs of legislative and executive power – in the same way as the draft of the «Agenda» presented on the last national entrepreneurial conference on March, 27. The last half a year showed that the authority replies on our offers. Almost all power structures have sent their replies on the «Agenda» to the Coordination Council for Development and Promotion of the «Agenda». One of the most powerful methods of promotion and implementation of this document would be election of representatives of entrepreneurial community to the legislative organs. That`s why on behalf of our public association I call for entrepreneurs to be candidates on the elections to the legislative organs of the authority».
Mr. Leonid Zaiko, Analytical Centre “Strategy” director: «After the president election campaign 2006 we see the situation interesting enough. The President declared the necessity of partnership between business and authority. Belarusian business presented its view of such partnership and declared it in the «National Business Agenda of Belarus» just in the proper time. In the send half of 2006 for the first time in the long years the idea of the dialogue began to soar in the air. For the time being the economic situation in the country does not strongly makes the authority to intensify such a dialogue. However the main decision makers of the country understand more and more clearly: «Those who does not create and support its national business will have to feed foreign business».
«National Business Agenda of Belarus» is a desire and readiness of business to lead a dialogue with the authorities according to the advocacy rules. If it happens, Belarus in the nearest 3-5 years can create one of the best, most competitive business climates of the region.
As an economy expert, analyst I draw your attention to a serious factor that may threat for Belarusian business. Import becomes an alternative to the domestic goods. In essence import goods are stealing matches on those firms that develop their own production. Please call your attention to the following positions of import growth in the early 2006:
- growth of foreign confectionary, alcohol, coffee, chocolate purchase;
- growth of foreign goods purchase: toys, cleanings, ceramics, medicines, perfumes, TVs.
As for confectionary, since the beginning of 2006 the country imported 4,5 times more items of this group of goods. We started to give $ 5-6 mln. per month to foreign producers. In the yearly dimension the loss of this position totaled $ 60-70 mln. in favour of foreign business.
Please call your attention: our losses will be in favour of private but not state business of other countries from which we are importing confectionaries. Why we are to «suffer» from it? Why we should give the things that we can do ourselves? It is quite real to increase the output of such production to $ 70-100 per year. The growth rate of import is rather high (in times) and it is necessary to analyse this situation attentively and create specific plans to re-build “business justice”. By the way, the project of development of own “confectionary network” as a national business project is real enough and can be presented to the society. As for the Government and the Parliament, their actions in the given sphere have to help quickly and well to initiate this project.
It is advisable for Belarusian business to initiate implementation of two, three four such projects. Here are markets for them – real estate, auto, meat and meat products. Start, for example, to implement the “Accessible house” project and it will be an impact of Belarusian entrepreneurship to such a definition as Business of Belarus – for the time being we can just say that there is only a definition “business in Belarus”.
Mr. Alexandr Kalinosky, Deputy Chairman of Economy Committee, Head of Entrepreneurship Department of Minsk City Executive Committee (Mingorispolcom): Almost a month ago Mingorispolkom opened a credit line for businesses of small entrepreneurship. According to the conditions of the contract between Mingorispolcom and JSC “Belinvestbank”, the money from the reserving fund of Mingorispolcom deposited in this bank can be directed to give banking credits with 7% rate. Credits can be given for implementation of investment projects in the following priority spheres: production of export oriented (import substituting) goods, energy and resource safe, creation of new working places and social and economic significance of the project. However, in the process of Implementation of the given project we found out that over 90% of entrepreneurs are not able to use this possibility because of absence of the correspondent security. This make us to create conditions for forming the Guarantee Fund. Mingorispolcom is ready for partnership with potential founders of such fund; it is ready to provide finance and intellectual support for them.
Yaroslav Romanchuk, Scientific and Research Mizes Centre director: «The fact of creation of the «National Business Agenda of Belarus» itself evidences that entrepreneurs acknowledge the necessity of unity of entrepreneurial community. They understand that consolidation of business will increase its influence in the society and will allow intensifying the settlement of a wide range of social and economic issues and economic problems. The leaders of entrepreneurial community of Belarus say in public that on the given stage the aim of their action is consolidation of entrepreneurs. These leaders are here today - in this hall. However no one dares to say that we can observe such a desire in the power structures of the countries.
Sometimes absence of simple agreement between even departments of one and the same agency, I am not talking about inter-structural hostility, just shocks people. Sabotage of execution of the decisions begins from the very top. So, during the conference devoted to harvesting and laying-in of feed on August, 3 2006 Mr. A. Lukashenko said: «It is a shame to watch TV and read newspapers. After the Taking decision by the President to start de-bureaucratisation you – said he applying to the Prime-Minister – increase paper circulation 2 times». Using this simple phrase the head of the state defined a wide range of serious problems and tendencies: first, officials do not listen to each other and insure themselves by adoption of many documents; second, they implement only those decrees and instructions which do not limit their nomenclature power and if there is no personal responsibility. If we see such attitude to the head of state, what we should expect from decisions of ministries and agencies?
As the result of contradictions between agencies and ministries we have the taxing system which, in essence, is our national shame. Nevertheless, officials say: we have a good taxation system, it corresponds to the Scandinavian sample.
Geografically we are in the centre of Europe. Economically – we are on the outside of the global economy, according to the economic development we are near Bolivia and Tanzania. Belarusian business have the right to communicate with foreign partners from the developed states as equal. Belarusian business does not desire that its country is on the outside of the global economy. That’s why it became the author of the «National Business Agenda of Belarus».
Heads of the Committees that are part of Coordination Council for Development and Promotion of the Agenda – the director of TCUP “Tridacta”, the First Vice-President of MCAEE Mr. Victor Margelov and the director of JSC “Euroatra” Mr. Alexandr Kalinin, Legal Department head of JSC “IPM-Consult” Ms. Elena Telesh, the director of JSC “Braginets & Partners” Mr. Vitaly Braginets, the director of JSC “Network-systems” Mr. Alexey Kolb, the executive director of Public Association of Entrepreneurs of Mogilyov Region Ms. Tatyana Kozlovskaya said about activity of the Committees. «It is impossible to settle economic problems by simple cancellation of some taxes, - said professor of Brest State Technical University Mr. Anatoly Kochurko, - we must say about system transformation of the taxation system. Today the leading role is played by indirect taxes, not by taxes from the results of business activity. However these results must be seen. The «Agenda» offers a system approach to settle economic problems of Belarus – and we see its significance in it».
The director of Entrepreneurship Department of the ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus Mr. Alexandr Lihachevsky, Legal Advisor of the Representative Office of IFC in the Republic of Belarus Mr. Valery Fadeev presented their reports to the Conference participants – we will post their speeches later.
MCAEE President Mr. Vladimir Karyagin is being interviewed by TV channels ONT and BT ATN
MCAEE Vice-President, the director of JSC "Euroatra" Mr. Alexandr Kalinin is being interviewed by TV channel ONT
The conference was highlighted by Belarusian media: newspapers – «Belorusy i rynok», « Minskij kur'er », « Nezavisimaja gazeta », « BDG. Delovaja gazeta», «Prodovol'stvennyj rynok», «Narodnaja gazeta», «Torgovaja gazeta», «Mezhdunarodnyj klub», «Minskij meridian», «Ezhednevnik», «Svobodnyj vecher», «Sovetskaja Belarus' – Belarus' segodnja»; journals – «Semenjyj biznes», «Direktor», «Torgovlja i obwestvennoe pitanie», «Individual'nyj predprinimatel'»; radio – «Unistar», «Radio «Minsk», « Novoe radio», radiochannels «Stolitsa», TV channels – ONT, BT ATN; information agencies – BelaPAN, AFN, BelTA, Prime-TASS.